Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 19, Episode 15 - A Family of Killers - full transcript

Matt and U.S. Marshal Bob Hargraves team up to hunt a family of particularly sadistic outlaws.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

- Yeah?
- It's me, Ham Pitchford.

Well, come on in.


I knowed it, I knowed it.

They done it just like
I knowed they would.

You hear that, Brownie?

Cousin Ham brings
us some good news.

He says Harley and
Cousin Tobin busted Jacob

out of that there jailhouse
and they ain't camped

but a day away from here.

My brother Tobin
done proved he's good.

He blowed off that
deputy marshal's head.

Shot him right through his
mashed taters as he ate supper.

That Tobin.

He could always be
depended on in a fix.

Like I always said, job done
good is a job done good.

Imagine that.

The Sutterfield brothers
back together again,

just like a family oughta be.

That includes you,
Ham, and Tobin too.

I'll make you a good hand.

I'm raring to tear loose again.

Here, you hear that?

Hey, we got a he-bear
on our hands here.

Like I always said, the
Pitchford boys bein' our cousins

blood'll tell, blood'll tell.

Hey, Brownie, where
was you just now?

I didn't see you out yonder.

He was up in the bluffs
watching you come across.

You know, there ain't a soul
can come across that way

without our seeing him.

Who killed the other deputy?

Harley did.

He drug him outta
town 'hind his horse

and then he worked him
over with his cutting knife.

That Harley, he's a
cutting fool, ain't he?

He's a good'un.

It's gonna be real fine.

All of us together again.

We'll hit Kansas like a twister.

Dodge City special.

Why Dodge?

'Cause that bank ain't
been a-robbed in years, boy.

First we bust that'un,
then we go to Meade

and break into that'un.

Then Sprigfield and Durant,

with fresh horses
spotted all along the way.

There ain't a lawman
born that can catch us

before we hit Mexico.

Like I always said,

I knew you'd be the
one to have a grand plan.

Well, what about that
marshal in Dodge?

I mean, the way I hear,
he'll dog us till we drop.

By the time I
finish with Dillon,

he ain't gonna dog
nobody no more.

It's like I always said,
I knew you'd be going

after Dillon, him having
put that lead in your guts.

It's five year now.

And I ain't drawed a breath

but what I ain't
felt the pain of it.

Yes, sir.

I got real hard
feelings for that Dillon.

And one day real soon,

I'm gonna put a bad
taste in his mouth.

One day real soon.

Hey, come on, Tobin,
Harley, we best get moving.

We gonna be late
getting to the shack.

Old Cousin Elton will be on
our backs like stink on a skunk.

All right, hold your horses.

We coming.

We coming.

Come on, let's get outta here.

Look, we're less than
half a day from the cabin

and I'm getting anxious.

Yeah, well we've got a
day's jump on that posse.

Besides, we in Kansas now.

Yeah, well let me tell
you something, Harley,

that don't mean
they've forgot us.

We lost them back in Big Sandy.

They ain't within 50
miles of this place.

Look, come on, huh?

I got a shotgun on you boys.

Don't move a peg.

Hey, mister, what do you want?

Yeah, come on, step out here.

Who are you?

US Marshal, don't move a peg.

I got a warrant on
you Sutterfields.

All right.

All right.

I ran second to you
today, Crazy Harley.

But you ain't seen the
last of Bob Hargraves.

Good morning, Brownie.

One of these days,
that gun's gonna go off

and blow a fist-sized
hole right through you.

You know, Brownie, some
things is finer than a fine watch.

Here we are in a tight cabin,
good feed, lots of firewood.

Why, we're gonna be snugger
than a fat dog by the fire.

I always said you
was the sly one.

But it appears you're
gonna be a shade snugger

than the rest of us.

Hm, how's that?

Having Jonnalee up here and all.

What about us?

Lessen I miss my guess,

by the time them
boys ride in here,

he'll pick up some sugar and
spice somewhere along the line.

Like I said, they're real slick.

But I don't like
this set-up, at all.

Now, you don't think I'd
go through all this planning,

do you, without taking
your needs into mind?




Get yourself in here.

Brownie, ain't I always
treated you fair and square?

Well, now is the same as always.

Share and share alike.

What are you going on about?

Why don't you give
old Brownie there

a hug and a squeeze
just like family?

What for?

'Cause I said to.

What do you think I am?

You're whatever I say
you are, honey bear.

Elton, I'm your woman.

Then do as I say.

Elton, please, don't.

- Elton.
- Now.

That's what I like to see.

A happy family
is a thing of glory.

Like I always said,
you're a man of honor.

Dish out the grub, girl.

Well, sleeping
kinda late, ain't you?

Near seven o'clock.

Well, a man watching his
back trail don't get much sleep.

As soon as you finish
feeding your face,

I got a job for you down south.

I just got here last night.

There's things that
needs to be done.

Where am I going?

Dodge City.

Well, why me?

'Cause I'm known
there, so is Brownie.


Well, what's that?

A list of staples.

Beans, bacon, flour, and such.

Nah, my horse is give out.

You can use my
bay, it's in the coral.

There ain't no sense
in going to Dodge.

It's too far.

WaKeeney ain't but 20
mile or so, I'll go over there.

You ain't the bull goose
around here yet, sonny buck.

And until you are, you'll pay
attention to the one that is.

I never meant
nothing by it, Elton.

Oh, I know you didn't, Ham.

'Cause if you did, I'd
have blown your brains out.

Ham, how about some more grub?


Then I best light out for Dodge.

Like I always said, Ham's
gonna be a real big help.

Now, when you get there,
I want you to make me

a drawing layout
of the whole bank.

Elton, you know, I can't write.

Don't pay no mind to that.

Just make lines on the
paper where everything is,

including the people.

I'll do it.

Anything else?


If you push hard,

you can be back by
the time the boys ride in.

Yes, sir.

Been six years since
our family's been together.

Wandering, running, hiding,
blowing like chaff in the wind.

Now, we'll have a family again.

What a great day
that's gonna be.


Can I pick you up
anything from the city?

Oh, of course, bring
me back a whole boxcar

full of fancy doodads.

Of course, I don't know
what I'd use to pay for 'em.

You know, it's gonna be
kinda nice riding on that train

instead of horsebacking,
especially as cold

as it's getting around here.


Why, Newly, you young
scutters don't know what cold is.

Did I ever tell
you about the time

I wintered up in
Wyoming territory?

It was so blamed cold,

it'd freeze the horns
right off a bull buffalo.

I recollect one morning I
put a pot of water on the stove

and whilst I was
a-frying up my eggs,

this here pot started
to boiling over.

Well, I just took a hold of
it and opened up the door,

gonna set her out there
and let her cool off a might.

Before I could set
that there pot down,

it had froze plum solid,

so blamed fast that
the ice was still warm.

You know, Festus,
you're amazing.

All the things you've done
and seen in your lifetime.

You're plum amazing.

If you think that
there was cold,

you ought to have saw the time

- when I was up yonder in the...
- Where's Matt Dillon?

He's down yonder
at the Long Branch.

What's going on?

Just go get him

and tell him Bob
Hargraves is looking for him.

Well now, you just
hold on, don't... Now.

I'll go get him, Festus.

And by the way, have you heard

about the Ronnegers
having another baby?

No, when did that happen?

Doc was with her
most of last night.

How many does that make?

Eighteen, I think.

Somebody oughta
tell them when to quit.

Hey, Marshal, a feller

by the name of Bob
Hargraves wants to see you.

He just rode into town with a
wounded prisoner and a body.

I'll see you later, Kitty.

Hello, Bob.

Howdy, Matt. It's
been a long time.

It has at that.

Guess you met my deputy, Festus.

We met.

This is my other
deputy, Newly O'Brien.

Real pleasure to meet you, Bob.

Nice to know you, Newly.

Well, I better get going.

That trial shouldn't last
more than three days.

I'll see you all.

Have a good trip.

- So long, Newly.
- You bet.

What'd you do,
tangle with a buzzsaw?

Nope, sorting wildcats.

Festus, why don't you take
that body down to Percy Crumps'

and then see if you can get Doc

over here to take a look at him.

Right now, Matthew.

Matt, you wouldn't
happen to have

a little something for
the chill, would you?

Well, I might have.

Who do you got in
the jail cell there?

Tobin Pitchford.

Dead'un outside's
Jacob Sutterfield.

I thought they were down
in Texas with Crazy Harley.

Well, they ain't now.

I'd have got Harley, but
I had this one to bring in.

Heard 'em talking about
how they was only half a day

from their cabin.

Now, the way I figure it
is they was gonna meet up

with Brownie and Elton
up in them cedar breaks

on the Smoky Hill River.

Well, the word I had was
that Elton was in Montana

and Brownie was in the Dakotas.

Got it reliable they
just drifted down.

How come you're after 'em?

I had Jacob in my jailhouse.

One evening when I was
out, Harley and this Tobin

shot one of my deputies
while he sat at supper.

My other deputy, a
young fella like that Newly,

Harley put a rope on him

and drug him through
some cactus, naked.

And worked him
over with a knife.

He left just enough
life in the boy

for him to tell me who done it

and told him he wished
it was me under his knife.

Well, he's gonna get his
chance I guaran-dang-tee it.

When'd this happen?

About ten days ago.

Wonder how come we
never got a wire on it.

It wasn't heading this way.

Well then, what
are you doing here?

Well, it's a confusion, Matt.

They cut to Big
Sandy and we lost 'em.

When we got back
to Cheyenne Wells,

there was orders from
the Attorney General

to transfer me to Kansas City.

What for?

They want me to be the
new district supervisor.

Well, that's a good
promotion for you.

I never cared much for a desk.

Well, Bob, that
still doesn't explain

what you're doing here.

Well, they sent a new
marshal in to take over,

so I was on my
way to Kansas City

when I coincidental
run into these snakes.

Well, in case
you didn't know it,

Kansas City's still about
200 miles east of here.

That a fact?

Got lost, I reckon.

Never was very
good on my directions.

You mean you let
some marshal come in

and kill two of you
dead just like that?

Wasn't my fault, Jacob
was standing guard.

Three growed men and
you let one man come in

and cut you up
like a side of beef.

He hit us like lightning.

Wiped out half the family

and you don't even
know who it was.

The next time you're
standing facing a shotgun

that looks like a
hollow log, you tell me

who's standing on
the other side of it.

Don't you sass me.

I'm running this family.

That is, what you left of it.

And you get your
saddle off my back.

What's done is past.

All right.

There ain't nothing
I can do about it yet.

Not just yet.

I don't care what you say,

Elton, I'm gonna
go kill that marshal.

No, you ain't.

Not till I say you can.

Must've been Hargraves.

Couldn't have been.

Crossed outta his
district days ago.

Where was you when it happened?

About 30 miles
southwest of Dodge.

Then that's Dillon,
that's his territory.

Well, then let's ride
down and get him.

Ain't no need.

He'll come here.

How do you know that?

He'll track you here.

Ain't no way.

I rode the cricks and
double-cut the river.

Brother Harley, there's trackers

and then there's trackers.

Dillon's a tracker.

He'll come here.

And if he don't,
I'm going after him.

Don't you fret, he'll come.

It'll be my pleasure.

And mine.

And Brownie's and Ham's.

Where are they?

Brownie's down
watching the river.

Didn't even see him.

You can bet he saw you.

Ham's down at Dodge
picking up supplies.

Speaking of supplies,
I ain't ate for two days.



Get yourself in here.

You got another mouth to feed.

That there's Brother Harley.

Rustle him up some
food, now get on it.

It ain't gonna be too hard
waiting here for Dillon.

That Dillon may be
the tall hog at the trough

down in Dodge, but I
guarantee you one thing,

once he crosses that river,
he's in Sutterfield country.

Oh, hold still there now,
I'm just about through.

Elton's bringing the
whole family in, huh?

It just makes it easier for me.

I got warrants on all of 'em.

You tell the new marshal
they're heading into Kansas?

I offered to track for him
but he said he knowed what

he was doing and headed
west, right where they wasn't.

Well, you got to keep an
eye on that, keep it clean.

All right, Doc, thanks.

Don't mention it.

Hello, Matt.


Where you going

with all them
shells, bear hunting?

Going after the
Sutterfields, Bob.

How's that prisoner, Doc?

Gonna have a look
at him right now, Matt.

I'd be obliged if you
left 'em to me, Matt.

I got accounts to settle.

You know, US Marshals supposed

to bring 'em in
alive if they can.

Ain't but one way
Harley's coming in

and that's stretched
out over his saddle.

Bob, you're out for vengeance,
I can't let you come along.

With or without you, I'm going.

You forgetting
whose territory this is?

You'd deny me
professional courtesy?

As a lawman, no.

As an executioner, yes.

I told you what they
done to my deputy

with a rope and knife.

He was like my son.

Now, what would you do if
they did to that boy Newly

what they did with Benny Lee?

Will you come as a lawman?

I've been a lawman all my life.

That Jacob's all laid
out at the coroner's.

Well, good.

You fixing to go
after 'em, are ye?


I want you to stay here and
take care of things, Festus.

Well, you ain't going
all by your own self?

No, Bob's going with me.

Well, Matthew, I know that
Smoky Hill River country

better than a baby
knows his mama.

I know you do, Festus,
but I know it pretty well too.

Well now, them Sutterfields,

they're a hair trigger outfit,

just meaner than a
four-headed rattlesnake.

Now, you're liable to need me.

Festus, it's just
gotta be this way.

- But, Matthew...
- Festus, I am sorry.

Look, would you go
get Bob another horse?


You got back
sooner than I figured.

Well, I pushed it.

We got troubles.

Got some hard news for you, Ham.

Tobin's shot dead.

No, he ain't, he's in jail
with a broke shoulder.

How do you know that?

I was down to Dodge.

Bob Hargraves brung him in.

Jacob's dead.


I seen him hand our
kin over to the marshal.

Hargraves is wounded,
but not bad that I could see.

Well, now ain't
that a fair trade.

You barely nick him and he
shoots two of you to pieces.

Don't you rile me, Elton.

You might've known
Hargraves would come after you.

He's as bad as Dillon.

I reckon they're all
gonna be after us now.

Well, they're coming.

If they left right away,

they oughta be here
tomorrow evening.

Now, where are we gonna run to?


Hell, I'm gonna ride down there

and light into 'em firsthand.

You shut your mouth, Harley.

And we ain't running.

Now, just hold on.

What about my brother, Tobin?

He'll hang for certain.

Don't you worry about Tobin.

He ain't gonna hang.

They gotta take him
down to Cheyenne Wells

to stand trial for this.

I know a couple
of boys down there.

They'll bust him loose.

Well, what about them marshals?

We'll wait for them
marshals up at the bluffs.

I think I'll learn you two boys

a little something
about outlawing.

You don't play their game.

If we went to them, we'd
be playing their game.

They come here to us,
they're playing our'un.

You do know what I'm
talking about, don't you?

Well, yeah and then we can
kill 'em when they cross over.


No, I wanna take 'em alive.

Well, what for?

I wanna do the same
thing they'd do for us.

Hang 'em by the neck until dead.

What's the matter?

Oh, nothing.

I just can't get Benny
Lee off my mind.

You know, he gave me this knife.

Sent clean to Tennessee for it.

Looks like a dandy.

Yeah, it is.

And he was.

I'll make it up to him.

Bob, you can't bring
him back, you know?

No, I can't.

But, I can put one in
the ground with him.

You know, when it comes to law,

there's only two
kinds of people,

the breakers and the keepers.

We're supposed
to be the keepers.

Matt, I never popped
a cap on a man yet

without giving him a
chance first to give it up.

But that Crazy Harley's
gone past my patience.

You know, we're gonna have
enough trouble bringing them in.

Don't let me have
to bring you in too.

I wouldn't take kindly to it.

Well, don't let's ever
let it come to that.

You fixing something to eat?


Hurry it up.

I'm hungry enough to eat snake.

El... Elton.

What you want?

You done me a bad turn.

What are you jabbering about?

Giving me over to
Brownie that a-way.

You wronged me.

I'm your woman.

- Now, you listen to me, girl.
- You're hurting my arm.

That ain't but the half of it.

Things has gone a might
sour for me around here lately

and I don't wanna hear no
bellyaching from you, you hear?

I don't wanna be
nobody else's woman.

Family is family.

That's the long and short of it.

You got no call for this.

I've been good to you.

Now you wait just a minute.

Ain't you forgetting something?

If it wasn't for me, them
women up in Laramie

woulda rolled you in a tar skirt

and trimmed it with feathers.

And I'm more than
obliged to you for it but,

Elton, I can't take
you shaming me

in front of Brownie and them.

It ain't right.

Especially since you and me...

You ain't got some
queer notion that you

and me is gonna marry, have
you, when we get to Mexico?

Well, I was hoping.

You can forget to
hoping, you hear?

I ain't made you
any promises at all.

I don't know whatever
give you that notion anyway.

You just plain common.

You common as dirt.

Now get over there and
fix some grub for the boys.

All right, you guys in there.

Wake up, it's time we get going.

I want some coffee, some
more coffee, hot coffee.

Harley, put that bottle down.

Or what?

I want clear heads
till this thing's over.

I'm just clearing my throat.

I ain't gonna tell you twice.

Them marshals ain't
fools by a long shot.

And you gotta be
sharp if you intend

to tack their hides to the wall.

You scared of 'em, Elton?


I'm a might scared of any
man that comes after me

with a 45 and a hanging rope.

Well, I ain't.

Then you'll probably
hang afore I will.

Give us some coffee.

You got something in
mind for them law dogs?

I figure there's only one
place for them to cross

and that's them
shallows below the bluffs.

Well, won't they cross at night?


But we're gonna have three

or four nights of
bright moonlight.

Should be like
shooting fish in a barrel.

Like I always said,
ain't nothing more fun

than shooting a man
when he's unawares.

Brownie, you ain't
changed a lick.

Still saying about how you're

always saying
something or other.

Well, how many of 'em
you figure there'll be?


Maybe five at the most.

Shoot, that ain't even
enough for good sport.

There won't be any shooting

until they reach the
near side of that bank.

Well, what if they cross
upstream or downstream?

There ain't another shallows

for a hundred miles
up or downriver.

Except maybe five miles down.

But those cliffs are so high

that a billy goat
couldn't climb those.

Well, that ain't to say they
won't be coming careful-like.

So it's the first few
shots that's gonna count.

Yeah, now we
having what I call fun.

Jonnalee, get that
grub on the table.

Now, fill your
bellies and we'll go

up to the bluffs and wait.

Like I always said, I knew
Elton would be the one

that would figure out
the high side of things.

Harley, I want you
to keep watch right

beyond that rise there.

You know what
I've been thinking?

I'm gonna cut off
Hargrave's ears,

dry 'em out, and wear 'em
on a string around my neck.

Don't you get to
rejoicing so much

you forget to watch that river.

Ham, I want you
to go about 50 yards

into that draw down there.

And, Brownie, get up
yonder into them trees.

You keep watch on the deep end,

I'll be right in the
middle of the shallows.

We're gonna have
'em in a fine fix.

Like I always said, a
crossfire's the best way

to keep people from trespassing.

Jonnalee should be
here with some hot coffee.

You tell her where we're spaced.

I'll make her feel
right to home.

You keep your hands
off of her until this is over.

You hear me?

I reckon I can
wait a day or two.

River oughta be just
the other side of that hill.

Let's take a look.

If you were Sutterfield and
somebody was after you,

where would you be right now?

Right up on them bluffs.

So would I.

It's the only crossing
for 50, 60 miles.

What do you allow?

If they're over there,
they'll cut us to pieces.

Yeah, like pigeons
in a feed pen.

The moon's high tonight.

It's gonna be like noontime.

I used to know this
country pretty well.

Seems to me there was a
crossing about five miles up.

But once you're on the other
side, you can't go up or downstream.

You have to climb a cliff.

How high?

About five, 600 feet.

That's too steep for the horses.

Well, let's go take a look.

Hey, you put that thing down.

You seen anything yet?

Did you hear me shoot?


Then I ain't seen anything.

Don't you get smart with me,

boy, this is serious business.

You said yourself they
wouldn't try to cross

till way after dark.

Well, it's already
way after dark.

Where the devil is that girl?

Ain't seen her
since this afternoon.

Well, she oughta be here by now.

Just where you been?

I lost track of time, I reckon.

Now, that's just to remind
you not to lose track of time.

You hear me?


When I tell you to be someplace,

you dang well better be there.

Please, Elton, I'm sorry.

All right, give him his coffee.

All right, get
about your chores.

That's the way to treat her.

By the time we move
south, she'll know what for.

You don't think I'm gonna
take that trash with me, do you?

I figured so.

Well, you figured wrong.

She's all right for a hideout

but I can do better
for myself in Mexico.

You keep a sharp watch.

If they left Dodge
when Ham said they did,

they oughta be here anytime now.

I don't know, Matt.

Doesn't look like anything
could climb up there.

Well, it's either that or take
three days to ride around.

Well, no sense
just looking at it.


You seen anything at all?

There ain't nothing moving
down yonder but that river.

Jonnalee, keep
that hot coffee going

for the rest of the boys.

I just don't understand it.

They should have tried to
make it a crossing before now.

Well, they ain't.

I'll be going back
for some more.

Something's gone wrong.

I can just feel it,
something's gone wrong.

Well, you reckon they might've

tried to cross someplace else?

I told you there
ain't no other place.

Five years you
ain't been up here.

A river changes.

I know this river long
before you been born, boy.

They been delayed.

That's it, they
just been delayed.

Well, I hope they
come pretty quick.

Well, if they don't try to
make a crossing before sunup,

Harley and me
will scout the river.

I got a feeling you shoulda
done that a long time ago.

It's cold.

Do you think they're coming?

They're coming all right.

Don't you fret yourself,
they're coming.

Long time since
I've worked that hard.

They're worth it, though,
if we can get behind 'em.

Bob, if we do, I want you
to promise me something.

I don't know.

I owe Benny Lee.

You owe the law too.

You said that Benny
Lee was a good deputy.

What do you think he'd
do in a situation like this?

Be sunup soon.

We better get going.

- US Marshals.
- Don't shoot, please.

Please, don't shoot.

Who are you?

Jonnalee Simpson.

What do you want
busting in here this a-way?

You know what we want.

Where are they?


The Sutterfields.

I don't know
anyone by that name.

I'm a Simpson.

You're in up to your neck now.

We ain't got time for games.

I ain't done nothing.

Where are they?

You can't tie me in with
them. I ain't done nothing.

Now, missy, you better tell us.

Elton made me stay with him.

I was running away.

Look, if I tell you,
and you don't get him,

he'll know to track me down.

And he'll kill
me just for spite.

He's that a-way.

Don't worry about him,
his killing days are through.

If I tell you, will
you let me go?



All I want is away
from here and them.

We got any warrants out on her?

No, I ain't heard
of her till just now.

All right, we'll let you go.

They is all four
up in the bluffs.

Looking for you.

They've been there
since yesterday.

Gonna shoot us while
we cross the river, huh?


They is gonna hang you.

- You seen anything?
- No, and you?

No, nothing.

Where's Ham?

He's over yonder a minute ago.

Ham. Ham.

You seen anything?

Nah, I don't think
anybody's coming.

Besides, I'm tired.

Don't you backtalk me,
they're coming all right.

How do you wanna take 'em?

You angle over that way.

I'll go this way and get
out there and holler at 'em.

All right. Good luck.

There, in the trees.

Hold it.

Don't shoot.

I'm quitting.

Don't shoot.

Try your knife.

You're good at it.

I'm gonna scatter
your brains, Harley.

This is for Benny Lee.

Lord Almighty,
please, don't, please.

You put those on
before I change my mind.

I'll do it.

You hurt bad?

Oh, I'm all right.

When it come
time for killing 'em,

I reckon I didn't
have guts for it.

Took more guts not to, Bob.

Yeah, but for a minute
there, I wasn't sure.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.